The Blacklist's James Spader Weighs In on Why the Show Should End Now — Plus, Will We Learn Red's True Identity?

The Blacklist Ending NBC Final Season

The Blacklist has successfully reinvented itself countless times during its decade on the air — but the way James Spader sees it, the show ought to pack it in before it becomes unrecognizable.

“I think if the show went beyond this year, it would turn into a very different show,” Spader recently told NBC, when asked why the current 10th season is an appropriate stopping point for the crime drama. “The thing that has been nice about this show was that we’ve never really had a really clear paradigm for the show. Tonally, the show shifts a lot from episode to episode, and I think that even the show has taken strange turns. I suspect that the show, if it went much further, would just become something that would be less recognizable to me.”

One of The Blacklist‘s biggest pivots came after leading lady Megan Boone exited the series at the end of Season 8, followed closely by the departure of series creator Jon Bokenkamp. When the series returned for Season 9, Spader’s Red became hell-bent on tracking down the person responsible for Liz’s death (that turned out to be Red’s longtime confidant Marvin Gerard), and the final season — currently airing Sundays at 10/9c — finds Red attempting to evade the vengeance of former Blacklisters he helped to imprison.

And though Liz’s death appeared to finally answer the question of Red’s actual, long-hidden identity — the show strongly hinted that Red was Liz’s biological mother, Katarina Rostova, who had undergone facial reconstruction surgery to become Reddington — The Blacklist has yet to give viewers a definitive, spoken-aloud answer to that looming question. And it’s still unclear if we’ll ever get one.

“Here’s my answer: If it’s up to me, you will know exactly who he is,” showrunner John Eisendrath recently conceded to TVLine. “If you don’t know in the end, you’ll know that someone else overruled me.”

Do you still crave an official answer to the question of Red’s identity? Or did the Season 8 finale give enough closure on that topic? Give us your thoughts below. (With reporting by Matt Webb Mitovich)

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